Asia, home to half of the world's megacities, is seeing rapid urbanization with small and medium-sized cities growing at a faster rate than larger ones. Asia's urbanization is expected to continue to increase to 78% by 2050 which requires more efficient and effective ways of providing basic urban services, especially in drinking water supply. ADB, in partnership with the Government of Korea, aims to improve urban drinking water supply services in South Asia through development of operational efficiency improvement plans and conduct of knowledge building programs on smart drinking water management. ADB taps the Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-water) to introduce high-level technology and provide training programs on smart water management needed to help our South Asian developing member countries improve operational efficiency in urban water supply.


Dhaka, Bangladesh

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka are South Asian countries facing challenges in ensuring equitable and affordable access to safe water.

Water shortages and water management are issues of increasing importance as population growth and rapid urbanization continue to impact already scarce water resources.

Dhaka, the largest and fastest-growing urban center in Bangladesh, is home to one-tenth of the country’s population resulting in greater demands on its water resources and infrastructure.

Taqsem A. Khan, Managing Director, Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, Dhaka

“Dhaka is a densely populated city and we have too many people, so to ensure pure  water for all those people is a big, big challenge, and that's why operational efficiency is very important for us because we don't have enough water whereas we have to give enough to everybody. So, we have to improve our efficiency in water supply."

Khulna, Bangladesh

Khulna is Bangladesh’s third largest city and, like Dhaka, is experiencing an increase in water requirements as rural populations move to the city.

Md. Abdulah P. Eng, Managing Director, Khulna Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, Khulna

“We experienced different types of difficulties for example insufficient pressure in the water supply line and also we supplied intermittently not full time.  We used to face distribution pipeline leakage problems.  And moreover, we were fully dependent on underground water.”

ADB, in partnership with the Republic of Korea e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund, responded to the targeted communities’ needs through the Technical Assistance, "Promoting Smart Drinking Water Management in South Asian Cities".

Taqsem A. Khan, Managing Director, Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, Dhaka

“We don't have any other choice except to move ourselves from the traditional to the smart water management - to the e-management." 

Working alongside the Bangladesh Government, ADB, in partnership with the Korean Government’s world-class utility provider K-water, aims to improve institutional capacity, operational efficiency and financial sustainability in urban drinking water supply systems.

Abdulah P. Eng, Managing Director, Khulna Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, Khulna

“This Korean Water team provided us, our technical staff, training in the lecture room as well as in the field level so that now we are able to operate our new DMS systems and distribution systems so that without any disruption in the water supply system."

The Technical Assistance also assists with customized business plans and training programs using the latest ICT-based operational technology and study visits to water utilities in the Republic of Korea.

Maruful Islam, Assistant Engineer, Khulna WASA

“We have installed a smart leak detection equipment.  By smart leak detection equipment we can see the leakage from (our) office. And then we repair it very quickly."

Technology in operating drinking water supply systems and training water operators have been at the heart of enhancing operational efficiencies to ensure financial sustainability.

Taqsem A. Khan, Managing Director, Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, Dhaka

We have a good collaboration with the Korean Government as well as we have a good collaboration now with K-water.  In fact, K-water is one of our WOP, Water Operator Partner and we value those partnerships and this is all yielding a very good result for the people of Dhaka City.”

Through affordable technologies and scaling up best practices, K-water has transferred crucial up-to-date operational knowledge to water utilities of participating South Asian cities.

Md. Tipusultan, Lecturer, Syed Arshed Ali and Soburonnessa Girl’s College, Khulna

“After installing the devise used to identify leakages, we have not observed any fault, nor detected any leakage around my home area. We are getting available water and the water pressure is very good."

The Smart Drinking Water Technical Assistance supports improved access to safe water and targets enhanced water demand management by ensuring sustainable water supply, creating an effective way forward for future clean water needs and a pivotal role in inclusive and sustainable urbanization.

Shahida Rahman, Housewife, Khulna

“We are getting the water, and the water quality is also good.”